­­Bumper sticker of the week: Repeat after me: The economy is getting better. The economy is getting better. . . . .

­­Quote of the week: ''In a long line of Presidential disappointments, George W. tops the list. It is apparent he can't read, write, or talk, yet he appears to think he knows a lot about everything. Just the other day he was heard mumbling, 'Send a message to the evil ones by doing good. ' So I sent him an e-mail message: Dear George, would you please quit? I think it would do all of us a lot of good. So far he hasn't e-mailed me back. I don't think he knows how to use a computer. '' Will the Last American Left Standing Please Explain to Me How George W Became President, Bruce Weik

­­Speaking of welfare to work: The Illinois Republicans have chosen as their party chairman an expert in welfare reform. Mr. Gary MacDougal, wealthy Chicago businessman who helped than Gov. Edgar retool the Illinois welfare system into a minimum wage employment opportunity for the rich. Not only does big business want the money the poor were getting, they want them to work 40 hour weeks for minimum wage. They sold this plan as welfare reform. I would more appropriately call it slave labor. This is not what the poor need. They need real life opportunities to climb out of poverty, with living wage jobs, which we are seeing fewer and fewer of as big business sends jobs South and overseas for even cheaper than minimum wage salaries. No help from the state, no decent jobs, has led to increased drug selling. Increased drug sales has led to a booming prison population, which industry has decided makes an excellent work force. The moral of this story: Capitalism needs cheap labor in order to thrive. That's where we come in.

­­Ten ways to know you're alive:

1. Just because you have a heart beat and pulse doesn't mean a thing.

2. Are you raising some kind of hell?

3. Somehow, somewhere in your heart, do you realize that killing people is not going to produce peace?

4. Do you wake up in the morning grateful for the opportunity to make life better for someone other than yourself?

5. Have you ever felt, maybe just for a moment, that you are connected to everything?

6. Do you say you're sorry when you need to?

7. Have you helped someone without expecting anything in return? Daily?

8. Do you believe it is possible to not have any enemies?

9. Can you accept the fact that you may be wrong and someone else right?

10. Blood pressure, heart beat, pulse, breathing, all have something to do with life, but little to do with living it.

­­Some things I learned from my grandfather:--

Always plant kohlrabi in the garden. --

If you're hungry for squirrel, go in the backyard and shoot one. --

Never trust management. --

A beer every now and then helps smooth things out. --

Don't get all excited. Tomorrow will show up just the same. --

Don't underestimate the value of a carp. --

Never back-talk grandma. --

A good rhubarb pie is one of life's finer pleasures. --

Never put the outhouse near the well. --

Never overestimate your opponent.

-- Don't make hard work out of living.

Uploaded to The Zephyr website August 14, 2002

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